Turnover is natural in professional sports. Whether it is players or coaches, teams rarely look identical from one year to the next. Oftentimes, there are 10+ new faces in a clubhouse each season. The Braves are actually one of the lucky organizations, given their young core is locked up to long-term, team-friendly contracts. They won’t experience nearly as much turnover as other clubs, but they do have to replace the void in left field left by Eddie Rosario, and perhaps even more importantly, the Braves are in search of a couple of new coaches at first and third base.
Last week, Ron Washington was officially hired by the Los Angeles Angels to be their manager. The beloved third base coach has been instrumental to the team’s six straight division titles as well as the 2021 World Series. Eric Young Sr, Atlanta’s first base coach, will also be joining Washington on his staff in Los Angeles, opening up two huge voids that must be filled this winter, which Brian Snitker discussed in a recent interview with 680 The Fan.
“It’s tough,” Snitker said when talking about replacing Ron Washington. “I texted Wash the other day, I was like, ‘you know what a pain in the ass you’ve caused me by leaving.’ Like I say, it’s hard to replace a guy like Wash. Everything he meant to us, what he brought to this team, to these young guys.”
There is no replacing Ron Washington. He is one of one, and the Angels are incredibly lucky to have him. It won’t take long for him to become a fan favorite in Los Angeles, but he might have to work some miracles to overcome the roster put in front of him.
The Angels appear to be staring a rebuild in the face, as they prepare for Shohei Ohtani to exit in free agency. Meanwhile, the Braves are in a prime position to compete for another World Series, and there are a lot of fantastic coaches that would love the opportunity to join Brian Snitker’s staff.
“But we’ve lost big guys before, and we’ll replace him, we’re going to be really good. It’s going to be tough. We wish him nothing but the best. It’s something that Alex and I have talked about, and we’re kind of doing our due diligence and running a lot of names through there. So, we’ll get the right guys, and we’re going to be really good again.”
Not seeing Ron Washington down the third baseline for 162+ games in 2024 is going to feel different, and I do think his presence on a day-to-day basis was a huge part of the Braves getting to this point. However, this team is far too talented to let the loss of one piece affect them. Brian Snitker has people lining up at his door begging for an opportunity. The Braves will find the right guy, and as Snit alluded to, this team is going to be a damn machine again in 2024.
Photo: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire